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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

an act of vigilant noticing
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:16 am EDT, Jul 30, 2015

Sterling Hayden:

Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Billy Hoffman:

Your Time is the most valuable thing that you have. There is nothing more important than how you spend your time.

Alice Gregory:

Learning a place by heart is a luxury rarely afforded to adults, and unless absolutely forced to, one seldom even notices that the ability has been lost.

Surfing, as William Finnegan renders it, is more than just a fun physical activity: it's a way of being in the world, with its own private politics and etiquette and benchmarks of success.

Finnegan is especially capable of coming up with phrases that are at once poetic and concrete. "Waves are not stationary objects in nature like roses or diamonds." They are, instead, at once "the object of your deepest desire and adoration" but also "your adversary, your nemesis, even your mortal enemy." Riding them is "the theoretical solution to an impossibly complex problem."

Surfing, in the most basic of ways, determined for decades where in the world he was at a given time, and with whom he spoke and laughed and ate. How a person spends his free time -- what he chooses to do when he can do anything at all -- is one of the most important things about him. But Barbarian Days is less an ode to independence than a celebration of deliberate constriction, of making choices that determine what you think about and who you know. Surfing demands intuition and familiarity with one's surroundings but it does not allow for the perceptive disregard that so often accompanies deep knowledge. As Finnegan demonstrates, surfing, like good writing, is an act of vigilant noticing.

Julian Schnabel:

Being in the water alone, surfing, sharpens a particular kind of concentration, an ability to agree with the ocean, to react with a force that is larger than you are.

Roger Ebert:

I love to wander lonely streets in unknown cities. To find a cafe and order a coffee and think to myself -- here I am, known to no one, drinking my coffee and reading my paper. To sit somewhere just barely out of the rain, and declare that my fortress.

David Foster Wallace:

Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it's like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.

a new and unnecessary conflict
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:22 am EDT, Jul 28, 2015

Bruce Schneier:

Every time you use encryption, you're protecting someone who needs to use it to stay alive.

Elissa Shevinsky:

It's clear that while I may have missed the drama of the '90s, I won't be able to escape the cryptowars redux of the 2010s.

Bruce Schneier:

The Second Crypto War is going to be harder and nastier, and I am less optimistic that strong cryptography will win in the short term.

Moxie Marlinspike:

If there's any good news, it's that GPG's minimal install base means we aren't locked in to this madness, and can start fresh with a different design philosophy. When we do, let's use GPG as a warning for our new experiments, and remember that "innovation is saying 'no' to 1000 things."

In the 1990s, I was excited about the future, and I dreamed of a world where everyone would install GPG. Now I'm still excited about the future, but I dream of a world where I can uninstall it.

Marcy Wheeler:

It's not just hippies and hackers making these arguments. It's also someone who, for most of his career, pursued and prosecuted the same kinds of people that Jim Comey is today.

Shane Harris:

In another bit of theatre, FBI officials gave every reporter a three-pack of Oreo Double Stuf cookies. The creamy center filling, Chappell said, gets its brilliant and consistent whiteness from the chemical titanium oxide. Last year, a jury in California convicted two men of stealing the chemical's formula and selling it to -- who else? -- China. The thieves pilfered the recipe from U.S. chemicals giant DuPont and passed it off for $20 million to Pangang Group, DuPont's state-owned competitor, who had previously tried to buy the recipe without success.

Andi Wilson, Danielle Kehl, and Kevin Bankston:

It seems like we may once again be on the verge of another war: a Crypto War 2.0. But it would be far wiser to maintain the peace than to begin a new and unnecessary conflict. There is no reason to repeat our previous mistakes.

Ted Unangst:

There was a proposal to change the error message from "Permission denied" to "Sorry" to match su, but not implemented. "doas" will not apologize for your failures.

James Comey:

I'm not sure they've really tried.

the life-changing magic of going for it
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:32 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2015


More people than ever can enjoy "exploit" at the office.

Adam Waytz:

Participants given power over making financial decisions consistently reported experiencing less loneliness than participants given no financial decision-making power.

Kim Zetter:

One so-called Starlight-Muhlen exploit Hacking Team sought, for example, was going for $100,000. Exclusive iOS exploits could cost as much as half a million, according to one of Hacking Team's sellers.

Gary E. Sparks:

It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Lauren Clark:

It's good to have a plan, but if something extraordinary comes your way, you should go for it.

in a blue way
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:31 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2015

Mazviita Chirimuuta:

We should not be tempted to say the blue of the sky is simply a property of the scattered light. There is no blueness unless the light interacts with perceivers like us, who have photoreceptors that respond differently to short versus long wavelengths of light.

So, precisely speaking, the sky is not blue. We see it in a blue way.

Tosin Thompson:

Maybe reality -- the universe we're living in -- isn't a 3D space that evolves over time, maybe it's a 4D "non-Euclidean" space that's just there. I.e., what if time and space (space and time make up the universe) have just always existed? No evolution. No time. Just there.

There is no motion in spacetime -- it's tenseless. The manmade concept of past/future/present tenses is meaningless. So your future isn't predetermined, it already exists.

Leo Braudy:

Eventually all moving images begin to seem simultaneous, with all places and persons -- in silent movies and sound, in all languages -- existing in an eternal present, a world unto itself with which we are almost as familiar as we are with our own world, or perhaps even more so.

Lao Tzu:

Not tangled in desire you embrace the unknown
Tangled in desire you see only what you want

But the unknown and what you want
have one source. Call it no place

No place or darkness

the hedonic power of anticipation
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:30 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2015

Daniel J. Levitin:

Instead of reaping the big rewards that come from sustained, focused effort, we instead reap empty rewards from completing a thousand little sugar-coated tasks.

Jennifer Senior:

Never underestimate the hedonic power of anticipation.


They say delayed gratification isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"We'll see", I tell them. "We'll see."

fundamental to our present and future performance
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:40 am EDT, Jul 24, 2015

Maciej Ceglowski:

Fixing the world with software is like giving yourself a haircut with a lawn mower. It works in theory, but there's no room for error in the implementation.

Frank Chimero:

Using technology to solve the problems it causes is as futile as cleaning a grass stain by rubbing grass on it.

Maria Konnikova:

We systematically undervalue sleep, and yet it is fundamental to our present and future performance. And unlike most anything else, sleep is one of the few things we have to do ourselves. No one can do it for you.

William Deresiewicz:

You are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people's thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom. In other people's reality: for others, not for yourself. You are creating a cacophony in which it is impossible to hear your own voice, whether it's yourself you're thinking about or anything else.

T. S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

it fights me every day
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:13 am EDT, Jul 23, 2015

Sasha Chapman:

It's easier not to think about where our food comes from, or the risks it carries.

Werner Herzog:

Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.

Jonathan Self:

There's more bacteria on a shopping trolley handle than there is on a raw chicken.

Poultry Science:

If humans grew at the same rate as modern chickens, a human would weigh 660 pounds by the age of eight weeks.

Stephen Colbert:

I felt so dirty. I felt like a piece of meat. I find being a piece of meat very exciting.

Roger Highfield:

The reality is that, despite fears that our children are "pumped full of chemicals" everything is made of chemicals, down to the proteins, hormones and genetic materials in our cells.

Robin Sloan:

I wear my own skin and it fights me every day.

of frights and men
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:25 am EDT, Jul 22, 2015

Scott Degenaer:

B.L.M.: They've got SWAT teams. Why do they have to have SWAT teams?

Douglasville Deputy Chief Gary E. Sparks:

It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Molly Young:

Members of the Marvel security team on the set spoke of "bloggers" the way Dick Cheney once invoked a "global terror network" -- in order to suggest a cabalistic threat, to make a rhetorical point about risk, to justify seemingly irrational behavior, or all three.

Brittany Bronson:

The only way to reason with an illusion is to stop believing it.

there is only the trying
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:25 am EDT, Jul 22, 2015

Maciej Ceglowski:

Hard constraints are the midwife to good design. The past couple of decades have left us with what I call an exponential hangover. This exponential hangover leads to a feeling of exponential despair.

T. S. Eliot:

In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Perhaps struggle is all we have.

people like elephants
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:57 am EDT, Jul 20, 2015

Mark Bergen:

The deep learning renaissance began, like so much on the Internet, with cats.

Warren Buffett:

If horses had controlled investment decisions, there would have been no auto industry.

Jill Lepore:

Copyright is the elephant in the archive.

Elizabeth Kolbert:

In 2011 alone, an estimated twenty-five thousand African elephants were killed for their ivory; this comes to almost seventy a day, or nearly three an hour. Since then, an additional forty-five thousand African elephants -- about ten per cent of the total population -- have been slaughtered.

Philip Zimbardo:

There is a movie called "Experimenter," about Stanley Milgram's research, which premiered at Sundance, and the second half is confusing. At one point, Milgram walks out of his lab, and behind him is a huge elephant. I saw the director at Sundance, and I said, "Why did you have an elephant?" He said, "People like elephants."

Japan Ganesh:

Celebrities convey their egos through magisterial insouciance; David Byrne, apparently bereft of ego, is as alert as a caffeinated meerkat.

Martin McKeay:

Once you've paid, expect the vultures to start circling.

Kathryn Schulz:

The average groundhog displaces nearly two tons of soil while building its home.

Alma Guillermoprieto:

Mexico's Attorney General, Arely Gómez, stares wistfully into the black hole, as if hoping that a white rabbit might suddenly pop out of it. The rabbit, however, had already hopped onto an unknown mode of transportation a good twelve hours earlier.

Kathryn Schulz:

In the current use of "rabbit hole," we are no longer necessarily bound for a wonderland. We're just in a long attentional free fall, with no clear destination and all manner of strange things flashing past.

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